Ended Program Operations Manager

The Job



About SDF

The Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF) is a non-governmental, voluntary, independent organization established in March 2015, officially registered at the Ministry of Social Affairs as per license (99). As SDF has been present in Yemen since 2015, it has experience implementing emergency child protection and education responses, including women and youth empowerment. SDF has experience in handling large grants from international donors, such as UNDP, UNHCR and OCHA. SDF has excellent national-level relations and has experience in coordinating with both national and international NGOs. SDF has offices, staff and community-based committees in Hajjah, Sana'a, Marib, Ibb and Hodeidah and has solid experiences engaging with local communities from whom it gained acceptance and with whom SDF has collaborated in the past including creation of livelihood opportunities and community-based protection committees. Last but not least, the foundation is mainly focused on Sustainable Development Goals and Humanitarian Response.  

Posted Vacancy: Program Operations Manager

Employer: Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF) – Yemen.

Location: Sana’a, Yemen, with 60% time in the field.

Position type: Full time – contract. One Year.

Starting Date: ASAP.

Post date: January 16th , 2020.



The overall role of the Program Operations Manager is to provide operational support to SDF response in Yemen, with specific focus on the implementation and monitoring of high-risk awards and operational issues to ensure the quality delivery of programmes across a complex, volatile, multi-location and multi-sector response that requires considerable investment and oversight from the central Programme Operations team.

The Program Operations Manager will act as focal point for a portfolio of specific awards and/or field sites as agreed with the Programmes and Grants Manager and Deputy Executive Manager ensuing that the relevant Field Managers and field teams are adequately supported to deliver high quality, timely interventions in line the objectives of response strategy and in accordance with donor requirements. The Program Operations Manager may also be called upon to support scale up in response to emergencies, such as the cholera and IDP responses, assist in the design of emergency preparedness procedures, and to provide strategic planning support regarding the direction of the response in Yemen.

The responsibilities listed may change and evolve in line with the situation on the ground. Budget holder responsibilities will be given as per the Scheme of Delegation.


Oversight and Management of Programme Operations (50%)

  • Act as focal point for a designated portfolio of awards and/or field sites, supporting the relevant Field Managers and field teams to deliver high quality, timely interventions in line the objectives of response strategy and in accordance with donor requirements.
  • Within the designated portfolio/areas, ensure:
    • Field Offices follow adequate planning processes (Projects’ Work Plan, procurement plan, recruitment plan, MEAL plan, budget phasing etc.)
    • Blockages between the field offices in the governorates and SDF head office departmental functions are identified and resolved to ensure effective and efficient delivery of programmes
    • Appropriate spend and budget utilization; supporting to modify budget, activities and work plan where necessary and compliant
    • Support the finalization of donor reports
  • Oversee, as necessary, the field level programme proposal processes and preparation of timely and high-quality progress reports, program reports, and donor reports, coordinating with the relevant SDF teams
  • Support with the development and implementation of contingency and business continuity planning (scenarios, triggers and response) within the designated portfolio/areas or as requested by the line manager or by the management.
  • Ensure that SDF work is coordinated with efforts of other agencies and government authorities, representing the organization in coordination for as requested by line manager or by the management.
  • Ensure programmes are implemented in response to the communities, values and strategic plan and following SDF compliance procedures. This includes working with government and national NGO-partners to strengthen national capacity
  • Provide technical advice on the development of systems, processes and mechanisms to support programme planning and implementation;
  • Liaise with external counterparts and implementing partners as well as SDF field-based colleagues to ensure effective and efficient project management, implementation and monitoring;
  • Ensure the implementation of a sound risk management approach and the integration of cross-cutting issues;
  • Ensure effective results and financial reporting, and communications of results to partners and donor partners, as well as overall visibility;
  • Support programme development, coordination, partnership building and resource mobilization;
  • Overall program budget responsibility through ensuring good program financial management by developing implementation plans, making budgetary decisions, monitoring implementation of activities versus spend rates, reviewing all field support requirements and costings, and ensuring that donor budget is adhered to, and modified as necessary.
  • Conduct regular meetings with the program teams at all levels for monitoring progress on, and linking with the Program Managers in providing technical leadership and guidance to program staff.
  • Doing/following up weekly plans from the projects’ managers and field managers.
  • Doing/following up monthly plans as per the work plan and discussing the monthly BVAs reports with its subsequent actions with the related departments.
  • Make sure of the BVAs meeting output/action points on time.
  • Provide cover/support for the Deputy Executive Manager as required
  • Provide cover/support for the Field Managers as required.

Operational improvement & systems strengthening (30%):

  • Within the designated portfolio, identify and escalate systemic issues, constraints and risks to programme progress and quality to the relevant country office teams via the line manager and ensure follow up to resolve issues with field teams
  • Support the development of field office capacity building plans / field-level operational improvement plans, identifying the necessary actions, resources (staff, advisors, funding), and drive their implementation at field level through supporting the Field Managers as necessary to implement plans, monitoring progress
  • Provide strategic leadership and vision to attain programme goals and objectives through the development, implementation, reviews, presentation and management of all aspects of this large programme.

Emergency preparedness & response (10%):

  • Support scale up to respond to emergencies within the designated portfolio/areas or as requested by the by line manager or by the management., as per SDF categorization requirements, in line with global emergency goals and benchmarks as well as organizational plans and policies
  • Support with the plan and implementation of scale down /transition post response within the designated portfolio/areas or as requested by line manager or by the management.
  • Working with the related departments’ Managers, assist in the design of emergency preparedness procedures ensuring Field Office readiness to respond to emergencies within the designated portfolio/areas or as requested by line manager or by the management.

Capacity Building (10%):

  • Provide strategic planning and capacity building support to field teams, particularly the Field Managers and projects’ managers.
  • Identify, and where applicable provide, learning and training opportunities for SDF staff and partners and work as a mentor for less experienced staff


  • Comply with SDF policies and practice with respect to beneficiaries, code of conduct, health and safety, equal opportunities and other relevant policies and procedures



Demonstrates leadership in all our work, embodies our values and articulates a compelling vision to inspire others to achieve our goals for children.

Level required: Accomplished


Takes personal responsibility and holds others accountable for delivering our ambitious goals for beneficiaries , continually improving own performance or that of the team/ organization

Level required: Leading Edge


Takes effective, considered and timely decisions by gathering and evaluating relevant information from within or outside the organization. 

Level required: Leading Edge


Communicates clearly and confidently with others to engage and influence; promotes dialogue and ensures timely and appropriate messages, building confidence and trust with others.

Level required: Accomplished



  • Bachelor’s degree in related field
  • At least 5 years prior experience working in an emergency response context or fragile states and relevant leadership and managerial position.
  • Recognized management role in relevant technical areas at both field and country level
  • Demonstrated experience in award management, budget oversight and donor reporting
  • A general appreciation of the issues concerning the NGO sector, both development and humanitarian issues
  • Good analytical skills. Effective negotiator, with the ability to positively influence cross departmental and cross sector working
  • Resource management, training, capacity building, coaching, and mentoring skills
  • Ability and willingness to dramatically change work practices and hours, and juggle multiple tasks
  • Experience in a complex and matrix-managed organization
  • Commitment to and understanding of SDF aims, values and principles including rights-based approaches
  • Ability to work within a team
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Computer literate


  • Master’s degree in relevant field
  • Solid experience in two or more of the SDF priority sectors
  • Previous experience with and knowledge of Yemen
  • Knowledge of SDF systems and ways of working
  • Fluency in Arabic
How to Apply

Qualified candidates meeting the above requirements are required to apply through the link: Click Here  not later than Feb 15, 2020:

  • RECRUITMENT IS URGENT: Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible and not to wait until the closing date, as CVs will be reviewed as they are submitted and INTERVIEWS WILL BE CONDUCTED ON A ROLLING BASIS.


  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.
  • Employer: SDF
  • Category: Development/Non-Profit
  • Location: Sana'a
  • Posted on: 10 February 2020
  • Deadline: 15 February 2020